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Safes And Other Difficult Items To Move

in Uncategorized by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment
Image courtesy Wikimedia.

Image courtesy Wikimedia.

Most moves are pretty cut and dry. Three or four movers pack and move. Wham bam. It might not be instantaneous, but generally there are few major problems. There are some items, though, that are particularly difficult and moving companies have to know in advance so they can bring the proper tools.

1. Safes – Obviously, this depends on the size of the safe, but if you have a man-sized fireproof safe, a moving company will need special tools and sometimes additional men.

2. Pianos – When you get your moving quote, the mover should always ask what kind of piano you have. They aren’t being snobs. The size of the piano will make a big difference in preparing for the move. The piano might require additional men. It will require additional equipment. It’s highly advised that you wait to tune your piano until after it’s moved.

3. Appliances – Moving appliances is relatively easy, but you want to make sure everything is disconnected before the movers arrive. You want to disconnect the water line on your refrigerator and on your washer and dishwasher. If you have a gas dryer, it’s a good idea to have a professional disconnect that and reconnect it at your new home. Movers can typically refer you to professionals.

4. Propane grills – Moving companies can move the grill but they can’t move the propane.

5. Children’s playground equipment and trampolines – A mover must see playground equipment before it’s moved. Playground equipment generally takes a lot of disassembly and it can take up considerable room.

6. Fish tanks – It probably goes without saying, but fish tanks and aquariums need to be emptied and drained before being moved. Most credible movers will do more than just throw a blanket over the aquarium. It should be boxed.

7. Fine art – Fine art of all kinds should be custom packed. The mover will need to assess and measure. Some pieces will require wooden packing crates.

8. Murphy beds – Murphy beds, the kind that fold into the wall, are especially common in small apartments. Without proper equipment, they can be very dangerous. They are heavy and they can accidentally open. Discuss murphy beds with your mover.

9. Sofa beds – Sofa beds are much easier than murphy beds, but they are heavy and the bed mechanism should be strapped down.

10. Scrap – Yes, scrap can be moved, although it might not be cost effective. It’s generally best that if there’s a lot, it has its own designated truck.

Most of your possessions will be very easy for most movers, but if you have any questionable items, ask. It’s a mover’s job to find solutions.

How To Find A Mover

in Preparing for a move by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

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In the two decades I’ve been in the moving industry, the biggest change is in the way people now have to find movers. It used to be relatively easy. All a person had to do was pick up their local Yellow Pages. If a moving company had a listing, or better yet had taken out an ad, it was a pretty sure sign that if nothing else, the company had been around for at least a little while.

Things have absolutely changed. You might find a few movers in the Yellow Pages, but most have taken their advertising dollars to the web and there’s a good chance you haven’t cracked open a Yellow Pages in years either.

The problem with finding a mover (or anyone) on the internet is that advertising on the internet is cheap and instantaneous. That means that any fly-by-night company can appear right next to a very reputable company, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to tell.

Let me start with a very basic primer on how search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo work. They have two kinds of listings. One are paid listings, which are ads. Those are at the very tops and the sides of your search results. You’ll also see ads related to previous searches during your web browsing.

The second kind are called “organic” listings. Organic listings are the ones that are in the body of the search engine and are most similar to Yellow Pages listings. Companies don’t pay for them.

Advertising on search engines can be expensive, depending on the search terms used, so that sort of rules out the fly-by-night companies right there, but it takes a while to show up on organic searches, so companies have to at least put a little time in the business.

There’s a third type of listing on search engines and those are their business listings. If a company is registered with the search engine, they will appear in the middle of the first page of results, with the ability to map the company. You might also see reviews.

Truth be told, though, finding a moving company through a search engine is only half the picture. Google (with the exception of Google business listings’ reviews) can’t tell you a whole lot about a company, except for what the company wants you to know.

You still need to do a little legwork, which can also be done online. If business listings have reviews, read them. Look on Yelp and Angie’s List. The Better Business Bureau is a little antiquated these days, but as one source of information they are fine.

It’s also a great idea to check with people like your real estate agent.

Ask your final choices for their licensing information and run that through SafeSys.org.

Finally, and this is very important, have the company give you an in-person estimate and make them guarantee their price.

What Do The Movers Expect Out Of The Move?

in Preparing for a move by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

1795763_818068038217889_6419290821201040947_nWhat do the movers expect out of the move?

Okay, that’s a strange and a bit of a trick question. The most simple answer is that the movers expect their customers to be happy. They expect that the move will go smoothly, with no headaches.

They expect that there will be no damages. They expect the move to go as quickly as possible with as much grace as possible.

But, that’s not really why you’ve clicked on this link. You want to know about things like tipping and feeding the crew. While none of that is expected and no one will ask, except maybe for a glass of water, if customers feel inclined, there are some guidelines that can be followed.

Food: Movers work very hard and they do get very hungry. Some will pack their own lunches, but it’s always appreciated if customers order a pizza or some sandwiches.

Note that lunch breaks are on their time, not on yours.

Drinks: The first couple of times I moved, I bought every variety of drinks my local 7-11 had. At the end of the day, I realized that the movers generally only drank maybe one or two of the varieties. Then, I learned to call ahead or simply ask when they arrive.

Moving crews often adapt to each other, which means they often drink the same thing. Sports drinks and energy drinks are particularly popular. So is good old fashioned water.

Tip: I can’t stress strongly enough that while some movers do ask for tips or do that not-so-subtle hesitation before they leave, it’s bad, bad form. It’s actually a sign of a very bad moving company – or at least one who isn’t too concerned about your opinion.

That being said, if the movers do a good job, tips are absolutely appreciated. In general, 5 percent of the move ($50 on a $1,000 move) is reasonable. You could also just tip $10 or $20 per mover, depending on the length and difficulty of the move.

It’s A Moving Miracle – Cat Survives Being Moved To Hawaii In A Box

in Articles, Preparing for a move by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 4.11.28 PM

Ninja Movers are always careful about what we pack, but even we’ve had the occasional packing error. A few full trash cans have been packed (one man’s trash is another man’s treasure), but I can say with full confidence that we have never, ever packed a pet. Unfortunately, that did happen with one move, but the results, which could have been disastrous, were miraculous.

In September, the Barth family moved from Long Island to Hawaii. Shortly after the movers left, the Barths noticed that their cat, Mee Moowe, went missing.

“I was really worried and starting to think the worst,” Barth said. “Maybe she ran away, maybe the movers scared her and she decided it was too much noise and she took off.”

Source: KXAN

They stayed behind looking for Mee Moowe as long as they could, but eventually, they had to leave.

Hawaii moves are a bit different from Continental U.S. moves in that the movers need to cross an ocean, which considerably slows down the process. It took 36 days for the Barths belongings to arrive in Hawaii and when they started to unpack, they heard a faint “meow.”

Mee Moowe had been packed into one of the boxes. She wasn’t healthy after more than three months with no food or water. Her eyes were crusted shut. She was anemic and dramatically thinner, but she had survived.

Mee Moowe is doing better, but she’s not completely reunited with her family yet. She was supposed to receive shots before moving to Hawaii and since she didn’t, she’s being quarantined at a veterinarian’s office at a cost of $4,000.

The moving company’s name hasn’t been released and they haven’t yet commented, but I can assure you that stories of pets accidentally being packed and moved are very rare.

For now, though, we’re just delighted that the Barth’s kitty will soon be joining them in their new Hawaiian home.

To prevent possible mistakes, including the far more realistic possibility that a pet could slip out the door during the move, it’s usually best to have pets stay with friends or family.

Here’s the video:

How To Plan Moving And Making It Stress Free

in Articles by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

How to plan moving and making it stress free Moving house is one of the biggest and stressful events of an individual’s life. The only way to make it smoother and easier is to plan the thing quite earlier. The introduction of moving and removal companies has made the things quite easier. A large list of moving companies can be found over the World Wide Web but not each of them is trustworthy. These companies can help you in packing up your belongings, moving your valuables form one place to another and also storing them (if needed). In many cases, it is required to store your furniture and other such items in some storage while moving. The storage solutions provided by such companies are quite affordable and cost effective. There are also specific companies available that only does provide you with the storage solutions. They offer you portable containers that can be used as units for storage. No matter what kind of removal it is, these removal companies are a big help. Today, it is getting really inconvenient to perform large house removals and office removals without consulting with one of these companies. The only thing is to search for a reliable company so that you can get stress free.

The professional removal experts can also give you the best of the advices for your home removal. These removal companies do offer the clients with complete services starting from giving you suggestions regarding the moving, helping you out in packing your stuff and then finally letting you to move from old place to new place. All these tasks are done very smoothly by these companies and are completely hassle free. You can easily search for these companies on internet and through yellow pages and directories. You can also ask these companies to perform a survey of your house and give you suggestions regarding moving and removals. There are many companies that offer these removal surveys. This will also help you out in making your moving process simpler. While surveying your home the surveyor will guide you and will discuss the moving plan with you. He will give you the plan for dismantling of furniture and for packing up your belongings. By hiring such a reliable company, you can become <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tension”>tension</a> free after handing over your possessions to the professional movers.

If you are planning to move to some new country then these companies are still there to help you out. These companies also do offer international removal and moving services. Moving home or office within the same city is still easier and one can try to perform this without taking the help from some professional company but international removals are not easier and must not be handled alone. It is better to take help from some professional movers in case of international removal. In case of international removals you will necessarily need storage containers that can be provided by the companies. The international removals cannot be performed without the storage containers as these removals might take long to get completed. Also, there can be some conditions under which it is not possible to continue the removal or moving process. Such conditions might include bad weather and at this stage you definitely need to store your belongings at some safe place. Relocation can be best performed with the help of professionals. They know what they have to do and can also perform their job within the estimated time. So, never hesitate in hiring a removal company to make your move successful. Home removals Shepherds Bush

Arthur: Emma Macmillan

 

How To Do A Move Out Clean In 20 Steps

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

vacuum-cleaner-268179_1280My absolute least favorite part of moving out is the move out clean. It seems so pointless. At the end of a brutal day or three of backbreaking cleaning, you end up with a spotless home that you have to leave behind. Why couldn’t it have looked like that when you lived there?

Of course, the reason it didn’t look like that when you lived there is because you lived there. People are messy. Just maintaining a decent amount of cleanliness is hard enough. Who has time to spit-polish the floors and appliances?

Unfortunately, if you rent, that’s what the landlord expects. If you own, the new owners didn’t charge you a security deposit, but it is courteous to leave them a clean home, unless they are renovating.

I promised myself that the next time I move out, I will hire professionals. As with the entire moving process, you have to weigh the value of your time vs. the cost of the service. If you decide to do the cleaning yourself, here are some steps to make it easier, or at least more thorough.

1. Invite a friend. This had better be a close friend because it’s damned hard work, but it will make everything go so much quicker.

Everywhere

2. Once the home is completely empty, except for cleaning supplies and a source of music, vacuum thoroughly. Vacuum the walls and the blinds. Vacuum inside all drawers and cabinets. If the carpet is stained, hire a professional to clean it.

3. Remove nails and screws from the walls and putty them.

4. Clean the baseboards and clean any marks on the wall. If the marks don’t come out, you may need to paint – always use a neutral color, preferably the same color as when you moved in.

5. Clean the windows, both inside and out.

6. Wipe down wall switches, outlets and doorknobs.

7. Dust ceiling fans and wash light fixtures and replace burned out bulbs.

Bathroom

8. Thoroughly scrub inside all cabinets, re-line if necessary.

9. Remove soap scum from bathtub and shower and bleach the grout.

10. Clean the bathroom fixtures, floors and the mirror.

11. Vacuum the fan.

Kitchen

12. Thoroughly scrub inside all cabinets, re-line if necessary.

13. Scrub all appliances inside and out.

Remove all the shelves and drawers from the refrigerator and clean them thoroughly. Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator and freezer.

Run the oven cleaner, if there is an automatic one, but be sure to remove all the ash at the end of the cycle. The oven cleaning is best done before move out day, so it has time to run through the cycle and cool.

If you don’t have an automatic cleaning oven, you’ll have to buy oven cleaner. Be sure to wear a mask when you are spraying. Still, you’ll want to do this before the move out day, since it will need to sit for 24 hours and then you’ll need to thoroughly scrub it out. Remember, the broiler pan is made from the same metal as the oven, so it will withstand both the heat of a cleaning cycle and the oven cleaner in a can.

14. If the sink is not stainless, remove all stains (bleach if necessary).

15. Finish off all surfaces, including counters, chrome faucets, mirrors and sinks, with window cleaner. It will make them shine.

16. Pull out the appliances and sweep under them. Wipe down the sides and the back as they are pulled out.

Everywhere

17. Clean the tile and hardwood floors.

18. Run the vacuum one more time and you are done with the inside.

Outside

19. Tidy up the outside, including mowing the lawn and pulling weeds.

20. Sweep and hose down the garage, patio and driveway.

Once you’re done, take a lot of pictures in case your landlord claims you have damaged something or that the place is dirty. Oh, and be sure to empty the trash.

Image courtesy Pixabay.

 

 

 

How To Move A Car

in Long-Distance moving by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

Car_transporter_001You’ve made arrangements for packing and moving. You’re all set to go, except for one not so little detail – your car needs to somehow arrive at your destination and there’s no one to drive it.

Some movers will move your car, and I will get to that in a bit, but most movers work closely with an auto shipping service.

An auto shipping service works one of two ways. If your car runs and it’s not extremely high-value, you might choose an open carrier, which is the least expensive option. Open carriers are like you see on every major highway. New cars are typically shipped on an open carrier. Like moving companies, auto shipping companies charge based on a formula of weight and distance. Typically, you might pay around $800 up to $2,000. If you are flexible on delivery times, you might be able to negotiate a slightly lower rate.

If your car is high-value, you can ship it in a closed container. This is quite costly, but it will protect your car from potential road damage. Some moving companies offer closed container options.

If your car does not run, it will be considerably more costly, since it will need to be loaded and unloaded onto the shipping trailer.

Before you ship your car:

  • Wash, vacuum it and do a thorough inspection. Take lots of pictures, including any damage your car already has. You’ll need this on the other end.
  • Remove anything personal.
  • Fold in the mirrors, if they fold and lower the antenna if possible. Put the top up if it’s a convertible.
  • Leave just a bit of gas in the tank to lessen the weight. You will need enough to load and unload it, though.
  • Disable the car alarm.

 

If you aren’t worried about putting additional miles on your car and you’re okay with the idea of someone else driving it, there are individuals and services that will drive your car for you, often for a considerable savings, although you will have to pay for gas.

You can find drivers on Craigslist or Autodriveaway prequalifies drivers, but you may pay a little more than with Craigslist. However, they are fully insured against damage or theft.

The Types Of Local Moving Estimates – What’s Best For You?

in Local moving by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment
Image courtesy of the Lead Republic.com

Image courtesy of the Lead Republic.com

Thanks to a lot of recent press about moving companies – a lot of it negative, customers are becoming more savvy. Most customers are doing their due diligence and getting at least three in-home estimates before choosing a company. Unfortunately, that’s where things might get confusing.

There are several basic types of estimates that moving companies will provide, both for local and long distance moves. As we talk about each, you might find that one has a clear advantage for the customer and in most cases you might be right, but there are exceptions.

If you are moving locally (within the same state and within approximately 200 miles):

1. By the hour – Moving companies all charge by the hour. You’ll find that rates probably don’t vary that much from company to company, but there are additional charges such as packing materials. If you aren’t sure what you’re moving or how much you will be able to pack before moving day(yes, that does happen), an hourly move will probably be your only option. Your moving estimator might give you an approximate number of hours, but that estimate is meaningless. It will ALMOST ALWAYS go over that estimate.

2. Binding – A binding estimate protects both the customer and the mover. It is a flat/guaranteed price for the move. There are a couple of disadvantages in binding estimates, though. First, the customer needs to read the fine print very closely. The contract might not include all the services the customer expects, like packing or sometimes, with less scrupulous companies, the tape used to wrap furniture. If the move takes less time than estimated, the customer will pay the estimated price, regardless.

3. Not to Exceed – Not to exceed estimates are, for the majority of customers, the best option. If it costs less than the estimate, the customer will pay less. if it’s more, the customer will not pay more than the estimate. As with a binding, though, you should always read the fine print and make sure that you carry out your end of the bargain, such as the agreed amount of packing. Otherwise, the estimate will be voided.

Next week, we’ll talk about long distance estimates.

Your Office Moving Checklist

in Office Moving by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

Your Office Moving Checklist (3)

So it’s time for you and your team to make a move to the new office. It’s time to get into gear and shift to a new home that will hopefully reflect the forward-looking nature of your business while providing a comfortable base for your staff. A potentially shambolic, stressful process can be turned into a relatively smooth, straightforward experience by following six simple tips.

 

 

1. Share Responsibility

There’s nothing worse than being left with shouldering the weight of a move alone – whether you’re the MD or the new intern there should be a role for you in the move. From boxing up the computers to carefully wrapping everyone’s favorite comedy slogan mug there’s a job for everyone when it comes to the big shift. If someone takes control in the first instance and allocates everyone their job (no playing favourites please!) there should be little to no confusion and little to no fuss.

2. Work to a schedule

So the move is in two months. What needs to be done in week one? In week three? And by who? An excel spreadsheet distributed to those involved (that’s EVERYONE remember?) detailing exactly what needs to be done and when will make the moving day itself a painless exercise. As painless as it can be anyway.

3. Throw it out

Who bought that plastic globe? When was the last time anyone used that clapped out printer? How many tons of scrap paper does one person possibly need? You know where the skip is and you know what to do. Carrying the rubbish of the past into a new environment will detract hugely from the new office’s potential to feel like a brand new, truly fresh start for all involved.

4. Pack it properly

If you’ve followed the above advice there’ll be no rushed packing and shoving of valuable items into unsuitable containers or ramming of essentials into a van at the very last minute for you. Should you encounter a moment of weakness when it seems that cramming the celebration champagne glasses into a shoebox is a great idea, imagine how you’ll feel when they turn up in bits the other end – and everyone knows you packed them because of carefully following point number 2!

5. Pick the right office

So maybe this should have been upfront but before you can schedule anything, before a box is filled, a plant pot dropped or a removal van called you’ll need to find a decent space to which to move. Think about the cons of your current office space – lacking natural light? Not spacious enough? A lack of privacy? Make these the key factors when you search for a new spot – don’t repeat the mistakes of the past – your new office should always be an improvement that gives rise to the best possible outcome from the move – a raise in both staff morale and productivity.

6. Book the right removal people

All the planning and careful packing in the world is irrelevant if you book a careless removal company. Or a massively overpriced one. Or one that turns up late and wants to go home early. You’ll need to take a long look at online reviews, take advice from other companies who have moved recently and tips from reliable friends when it comes to finding the right people for the job. Remember that the cheapest will probably not be the best but the most expensive may not be either. Picking wisely will not only reflect well on you but will serve your company very well indeed. Book a careless removal company

 

Author: Emma Macmillan

 

 

10 Uses For Moving Blankets

in Advice by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment
Blankets are the most critical part of the move.

Blankets are the most critical part of the move.

Moving blankets are ugly. We get that, but they are one of the most practical things you can own and they aren’t that expensive. What are some of the things you can do with moving blankets?

1. Protect your furniture – Moving blankets can protect your furniture long after you’ve moved. If you are hosting a kids’ slumber party, throw them over your sofa to keep it free of sticky fingers. They also do wonders against pet dirt and hair.

2. Protect your floors – If you are moving a few things around your home, put some moving blankets down on the floor. You can even tape them down with painter’s tape to keep them from sliding around.

3. Protect your car’s upholstery – They make great seat covers for when you transport pets.

4. Make moving furniture easy – This probably isn’t about what you think it’s about. When you are moving furniture, put a blanket underneath and slide the blanket along the floor. Suddenly, the furniture will feel a lot lighter and it won’t damage your floor.

5. Keep them in the trunk of your car – A clean moving blanket isn’t just for moving. Its quilted fabric is very utilitarian, but it will also help keep you warm if you ever find yourself stranded.

6. Use it as pet bedding – It’s not a designer bed, but pets just like to sleep on something that’s not a hard floor. A moving blanket can be a great bed for either dogs or cats.

7. Use as sound insulation – Tack some moving blankets up on the walls or on the ceiling and you will have a surprisingly well-insulated room.

8. Use them as cheap rugs – Put them down on a concrete floor or in an area that is particularly susceptible to dirt. They are washable.

9. Use them for storage – When you put your furniture in storage, it’s best to protect it with something that is breathable. A moving blanket is a perfect solution.

10. Protect the walls – You can either tack them up on your walls as is, or there are special kinds of moving blankets that have grommets for that purpose.

Of course, don’t forget to use lots of moving blankets if you…move. They are inexpensive, at about $15 to $20 each. They are available from several online retailers or any moving company, truck rental company or moving supply store.

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